Don ca Tai tu of South Vietnam was originated from the chamber music, Hue court music and folklore music. After a long time of forming and developing, Don ca Tai tu has been nationalized and listed in one of the unique heritage of traditional music of Vietnam. When it was first formed, Don ca Tai tu is the performing activity including four musical instruments: kim fiddle, two-chord fiddle, 16-chord zither and monochord (four corners). Later on, there is a replacement and renewal from monochord to the concaved key guitar.
Somebody supposed the word “tai tu” does not mean “professional”. However, this meaning is “the talented man”. Besides, “tai tu” is also used to imply that they do not take it like a job but just a kind of relaxation, to show their thought or to serve the fan.
The player of Don ca Tai tu does not have the low artistic capacity. In contrary, they often rehearse in the strenuous way. They have to follow their master in each step of playing to give the nice performing and unique style. Therefore, in order to become a real man of Don ca Tai tu, they have to be through a tough process of training.
The orchestra of Don ca Tai tu use kim fiddle and 16-chord zither, and would be nicer if there is a monochord. There are maybe flute used in the sad songs like Tu dai oan or Van thien tuong. Especially “song lang” (two stakes of bamboo) could be used to tap against each other in every important phase of the singing sentence.
Don ca Tai tu is begun with the announcement to detect the fan’s attitude and the quality of the fiddle. The announcement is all prompt and it could be different but just in the right tone chosen.
Then, each song is played to lead the listeners into the tone like the instruction of the tour guide to a new nice landscape. Don ca Tai tu could, sometimes, use only 16-chord zither or kim fiddle. If there are only two musical instruments, they are normally 16-chord zither mixed with the kim or two-chord fiddle. If the whole three instruments are mixed, the whole could be used. Sometimes, there is the flute and then guitar could be used. The singer also plays an important role because there is seldom lack singing.
The interesting part of mixing the fiddle is the rule of plain and simple, the fiddle has to be seen from the view of t he learner, which is appropriate with the fix of the universe.